Nigerian church condemns bombing that claimed at least 71 lives

Lagos, Nigeria

The Catholic church in Nigeria condemned the morning rush-hour bombing of a bus station near the capital of Abuja that killed at least 71 people and injured dozens more Monday.

"The killing of innocent Nigerians once again makes us ask how many more innocent people must die before a solution is found to the brutality and insecurity of lives and property in our country," said Fr. Christian Anyanwu, national director of social communications for the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, the social development arm of the Nigerian bishops' conference.

"We commiserate with the families of those who have lost their lives. Indeed it is another sad day in our history as a nation,'' Anyanwu wrote in an email.

The priest's response Wednesday came as reports that Boko Haram insurgents had abducted 100 female students from the Government Girls Secondary School in the northeastern town of Chibok less than 24 hours after the bombing.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan accused Boko Haram for the bombing during a visit Monday.

Christmas-NCR-gifts-half_0.jpgGive a subscription to our award-winning newspaper and save $10.

Anyanwu said the perpetrators of the violence "want us to live in perpetual fear."

"But we cannot be deterred. We can never give up our faith in God and our belief in the unity of our country," he said.

Anyanwu suggested that Nigerian leaders must begin to address the challenges facing the country including growing insecurity.

"There is need to review the strategy of fighting insurgency which has not yielded much desired fruit. The gathering of intelligence and the courage to act with intelligent reports is important to win the war on terrorism,'' he said.

Elsewhere, Msgr. Gabriel Osu, director of social communications for the Lagos archdiocese, said the bombings and other violence would not deter Catholics from attending Holy Week liturgies and parish Easter celebrations.

Saying the Catholic church is saddened by the violence, Osu pledged that churches would remain open across the country, although he expected attendance at Easter triduum services would drop in Abuja and neighboring communities.

He also urged insurgents to stop killing innocent people to achieve political goals.

Osu called upon Nigerian leaders to invest in the education of Nigeria's youth, especially those from the northeastern part of Nigeria where the insurgency is strongest.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017